Better Business through a
The word sustainable derives from Latin “sustinere” which literally means “to
hold up” or “to maintain”. When something is sustainable it endures and
Companies around the world are starting to make inroads to better business
through a better world. We worked with a client for 18 months on rolling out
their sustainability strategy globally and initially researched other companies
who had started on their sustainability journey to show employees they were
in good company. Here are some of our favorites.
Sustainability Business Stories
…has set for itself a strategy it calls “me, we, the world,” which encompasses its approach to
improving personal health and wellness, the communities in which it operates and the
environment. Within this strategy, the company reports making material, tangible progress
on metrics related to three specific areas of focus: “well-being, women, and water.” The
company does not ignore other issues such as climate change and packaging, but it has made
it clear that this is where it wants to lead. It’s working to achieve water neutrality by 2020.
…both innovated by asking if it would be possible to dye clothes – a very water-intensive
process – without using any water. They have both achieved the goal.
…CEO, Paul Polman, has been resisting the pressure from Wall St to provide
quarterly results so that the company can focus on building value over years, not
months. They are aiming to halve carbon footprint and double turnover.
…runs People & Planet initiative that calls for its entire supply chain to be 100%
sustainable by 2020. At the same time the company is expecting to double sales.
This will result in IKEA radically changing the way it designs the furniture and
creating new models for the way it collects and recycle furniture.
…asked, “Do paper rolls have to have cardboard tubes?” As part of its $100 million
Scotts Naturals brand it has developed tubeless rolls.
…looked at how to use less material and energy and for the Indian and
Chinese market developed a portable electrocardiograph. They then sold in
the United States for 80 per cent less than similar products.
…is building a manufacturing plant in Messa, Arizona that will run on 100 per cent
…has converted product shipment from air to ocean freight because of climate
…in 2001 decided to source coffee beans according to “fair
…encourages customers to bring a piece of clothing they no longer want in
“shwopping”. Whenever they come to buy something new and they can drop
unwanted clothing into convenient boxes at the store. They then receive a
discount voucher for their purchase. Everybody wins.
…provides safety training for drivers in emerging markets. It also engages an
external auditor to evaluate its progress in energy use and carbon emissions
reductions and its reporting of cost and resource savings.
Leader asked a few years ago the now famous unorthodox question, “Can we
cut fuel costs by avoiding left turns?”, (where they drive on the right).
…is involved in Just Peach Salsa. The Food Bank in South Jersey became aware that local
farmers were throwing away 850,000 pounds of peaches each year because of bruises and
other imperfections that made them unacceptable to their customers such as grocery stores.
The Food Bank recognized an opportunity to use the damaged peaches to generate revenue
to fund their work. The farmers agreed to donate the peaches and what was needed was
expertise and infrastructure to create a product. Campbell stepped in and its culinary and
product development team created a delicious peach salsa recipe. Campbell donated
additional ingredients, manufacturing capacity and the work of hundreds of employees to
produce and package the salsa. The result is an annual revenue stream of $100,000 for the
Food Bank of South Jersey and keeps many toms of peaches going to waste.
Bridges Business Consultancy Int, Singapore, specializes in strategy
implementation. Bridges was founded at the start of the millennium to
research, develop and integrate corporate strategy implementation. It is
their singular focus and they work with governments, multi-national
organizations and local businesses in five continents to assist them in
executing their strategy. Bridges’s work has been featured on global and
local media outlets, including the BBC Global, CNBC, Financial Times and
various strategy journals.